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Naramata's wine region is a wonderful winter day trip.
It's even better when you can have a sleepover.
That's where the 12-room, circa-1908, Mission-style Naramata Inn comes in.
After a day of wine touring, my wife, Kerry, and I end up at The Naramata Inn to check into No. 11, a cozy, heritage-style room with an ultra-comfortable Queen-size bed and free-standing, claw-foot tub in the corner.
The Naramata Inn isn't just a chic boutique hotel, but home to The Restaurant at The Naramata Inn and Eliza Wine Bar.
The co-owner is celebrity chef Ned Bell, who's made the inn even more of a destination since he took it over two-and-a-half years ago.
The inn, which prides itself on unique wine lists, has just switched up its lists for both the wine bar and the restaurant for winter.
"I love the concept we have of sustainable, hyper-local wine lists, both by the glass and bottle," sommelier Elizabeth Markulin told us when we took our window seats at the restaurant.
"Most of the wines are from the Okanagan, a lot of them from Naramata, and they are selected to pair beautifully with Ned's menus of foods from BC."
Many of the wines are limited releases that can only be found at the winery and the inn.
As a result, we enjoy the 2021 Bench 1775 Pinot Gris from Naramata with pumpkin and squash soup to start, steelhead trout paired with 2020 Code Pinot Noir from Okanagan Falls for the entree and salted-caramel choux a la creme with a late-harvest La Stella Moscato d'Osoyoos.
Then it was out into the dark and cold to follow the twinkling lights to the Naramata Winter Market on Robinson Avenue to peruse the booths of seasonal food, drinks and gifts.
The market runs again tonight, 5-8 pm.
After the market, there's still time for a nightcap in Eliza Wine Bar -- Echo Bay Sangiovese Pet Nat 2021 sparkling Rose from Okanagan Falls.
The Naramata Inn is open Thursdays through Mondays until Jan.1 and then will close for a winter break until March 16.
Check out NaramataInn.com.
Wine gift sets
The elves at Liquidity Wines in Okanagan Falls and Road 13 Vineyards in Oliver have been busy curating wine gift sets for holiday giving.
Beautiful gift boxes and personalized cards are included with each set.
Liquidity has created six different two-and-three bottle sets ranging in price from $75 to $115 with names like 'Delight,' 'Merry Merlot' and 'Celebrate.'
Road 13's five sets contain two, three or six bottles, ranging in price from $61 to $273, with Christmas themes such as 'Merry & Bright,' 'Comfort & Joy' and 'Warmth & Cheer.'
While ideal as gifts, you most definitely could also order one of these sets for yourself.
Order online at LiquidityWines.com and Store.Road13Vineyards.com by Dec. 9 to make sure wine arrives by Christmas.
Holiday open houses
Summerland's Bottleneck Drive wineries, wineries on Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country and Grizzli Winery in West Kelowna are all having Christmas-themed events this weekend.
Today, 3-8 pm, wineries in Summerland will 'Light Up the Vines' with actual Christmas lights on grape vines and offer tastings.
Today, tomorrow and Sunday drop by decorated tasting rooms of wineries in Oliver and Osoyoos for sips and gift ideas.
Christmas markets are on tap at Grizzli tomorrow, Sunday and Dec. 10, 11, 17 and 18 along with tastings and festive photo booth.
You're welcome to bring your well-behaved dog on a leash because the markets are also a chance to make a donation to Paws it Forward Dog Rescue.
Steve MacNaull is a NowMedia Group reporter, Okanagan wine lover and Canadian Wine Scholar. Reach him at [email protected]. His wine column appears in this space every Friday afternoon.